Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at DMA! This year, for Thanksgiving, we wanted to reflect on how lucky we are to experience lives full of learning doing work that we love. Working in STEM education is more than just a job for all of us at DMA; it’s a pursuit of what we believe contributes to improving our community and the world at large. An education is the gift that keeps on giving, and for this we are grateful to share it with everyone that comes through a DMA course.
We would be remiss to not give thanks for our summer staff. Our small team expands exponentially during the summer, bringing together a large community of instructors, TAs, directors and more who share the same vision and passion that we do. Digital Media Academy is nothing without its team of summer staff, and for some reason we seem to attract the best (probably because we’re so cool)! Spread across more than 20 locations, our instructors teach students a wealth of knowledge all within the span of a single week. This is no easy task and we are thankful for their dedication to DMA and their students. I’d also like to give a special shout out to our curriculum developers, who work to create the incredible courses that our students experience.
At Digital Media Academy, we sometimes find ourselves succumbing to the needs of creature comforts. In this case, we’d like to give thanks for floor heaters. Thanks for keeping our toes warm all-year round. We have pretty strong air conditioning in our building and the floors can also be pretty cold during the winter. What can I say? We have simple pleasures.
While I’m giving thanks for the small things, I’d also like to talk about the greatest influence on company morale, our mascot and cheerleader, Boo Radley. Boo is our most loyal companion and encourages us to get up, take her on a walk, and treat ourselves every once in a while. Thanks, Boo, for the face licks, the games of fetch, the warmth on our laps, the tail wags when we arrive in the morning, and for being the cutest dog to ever become a 3D model.
Digital Media Academy is more than just the sum of the people who work for it. Truly, we are thankful for our partners who provide software, hardware, and even instructors to make our courses shine. Thanks to Ultimaker, who provides us endless support and the 3D printers for our courses. Thanks to Sparkfun, who also works with us to create robotics kits and provide the Arduino parts for various courses. Oh geez, I started listing them out but we have so many companies and organizations who believe in DMA’s mission and works to provide us with so much support. Companies like Microsoft and Google, Adobe, CLO, Unity. There’s too many to list out now, but check out our partners page and I’ll be sure to revisit their numerous contributions in future posts. I will give a special shout out to Roblox, one of our newest partners this year who we are incredible excited to work with to provide one of the coolest courses in Game Design I’ve ever seen.
In addition to our partners in tech education, we are also most thankful for the universities, colleges, and institutions that host our wonderful camps. Being able to explore a college campus is a valuable experience for a high school teen who has to make big decisions about what they want to pursue as a career and where they want to live. We’ve always believed that hosting our camps on these campuses provides an incredible college-level experience. Schools like Stanford University, Harvard University, UC San Diego, UCLA, and so many others have opened their doors to us and our students and we are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to continue our own learning with them.
The last thing we’d like to give thanks for this year is the global community of learners that expand and contribute to STEM education. We’ve had the opportunity to grow our business beyond the borders of the United States and Canada, reaching into China, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, and more. It’s really incredible being able to talk to a global community of educators. Not only do we get to share our curriculum, we also get to experience the wealth of culture that these other countries provide. We are all neighbors on Earth, and getting the opportunity to improve ourselves is something we are extremely grateful for.
We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! As we draw closer to the summer, there will be plenty more to talk about, from new courses and experiences to STEM activities and events. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or suggestions you may have to make DMA even better. After all, we’d be most ungrateful if we did not give thanks to you, our wonderful community of students, teachers, parents, and partners.